Every word and gesture in my teaching as a whole will be permeated with religious fervour…
Such things show us that instruction and education must not come from accumulated knowledge…
What we have educated in children very naturally in a priestly way – what is really a religious devotion – we must now be able to reawaken at a higher soul level during the second stage of life…
Rudolph Steiner The essentials of education pp. 65-69
I can scarcely agree with Jewell Topsfield writing in The Maribyrnong Weekly expressing concern that parents “… at Footscray City Primary have been left reeling…” after the Education Department moved on Thursday to sack the school council and dump the First Class cult driven Steiner (or Waldorf) “education” program. But then maybe I shouldn’t be surprised because Topsfield inexplicably misleads her readers with:
… the Steiner stream, [which] emphasises learning by play rather than formal classes in the early years of school.
Ah, the “early years of school”. And who could fault “play rather than formal classes”? But is that really what’s going on in Steiner’s secretive descendent program? In brief Steinerism (Anthroposophy cult) propagates the belief that human evolution marched on with survivors from a doomed and fictitious Atlantis who inexplicably made it to other continents.
Generations survived through Persian, Greek and Egyptian civilisations – or epochs – eventually into Germanic tribes which, maintaining their Atlantean heritage culminated in the early 20th century with the Aryan civilisation as the pinnacle of human evolution. Those that survived with Atlantean heritage have largely spiritual forces of body and soul that must be “reawakened”, or developed “in the right way”. It is here that Steinerism as a belief system, a religion, and Steiner Education become inseparably entwined.
In one of his Practical Advice to Teachers lectures Steiner offered:
The subjects you teach will not be treated in the way they have been dealt with hitherto. You will … have to use them as a means with which to develop the soul and bodily forces of the individual in the right way.
Steiner teachers don’t so much reject other races, as pity their clumsy inferiority. Asians whilst ancient and wise are vitiated and cannot invent anything. African races are improperly formed, youthful and childlike. How this goes down in history or biology class – or the “narrow homogenised way of teaching” – as one Steiner parent suggested I can only guess.
Childhood development must follow an analogue of evolution as it’s viewed by Steinerism. That this is done by teaching only further blends the mystical aspects with the purported educational aspects. Steiner Cult teachings divide childhood development into 0-7, 7-14 and 14-21 years.
Thus the “early years of school”, as Topsfield so innocently puts it, is also the “second stage of life”. Whereupon the little darlings should be “able to reawaken at a higher soul level religious devotion” that cult members have drilled into them “in a priestly way”. Of course this is no run-o-the-mill reawakening. Each of these stages is under the influence of either the animal, vegetable or mineral Kingdom. Directed by the Principles of thinking, feeling and willing. Controlled by one of three body parts – head, chest and limbs.
But please spare a thought for the cultists cum teachers who must juggle this with the three Aspects of the human being – body, spirit and soul – which are further sliced by thrice into astral, etheric and physical bodies. Just as well they are experts in the art of Spiritual Science. Or rather Steiner Spiritual Science. I don’t want to get out of tri-sequence here.
On top of this they must accept that conventional science is rubbish, homeopathy is real, diabetes is treated with bee stings because, “anthroposophically logically” honeybees like sugar, the body has energy channels and fields (akin to chi, meridians and chakra) that are treatable through more pseudoscience. They are influenced by karma which comes into being by Lucifers’ effects upon their astral body. Lucifer then evokes Ahriman who effects from without, “working upon and in us by means of all that confronts us externally”. Reincarnation is real.
With all this on their mind, teachers appear to forget to inform parents of Steiner’s key revelations that he could encounter a super-sensible reality. This super sensible chap was behind ordinary objects in the world but as “a so to speak divine being” could give Steiner knowledge acquired about these everyday objects. This knowledge was, most fortuitously, secrets of their activities and existence previously revealed to the super-sensible reality. Steiner seemed to take this in his stride and later ascended through etheric and astral consciousness, eventually arriving at the karmic level.
When he ascended to the karmic level Steiner must have had a better view than from Eureka Skydeck
The karmic level must be even better than the Eureka Skydeck because from up there Steiner saw an amazing spiritual panoramic view including all recorded spiritual events in the history of the whole wide world. He probably couldn’t believe his luck, and it turned out this history had a name. The Akashic Records. Akashic is Sanskrit for “Sky” or “aether”. Through these records he could access the known history of the earth. Not his “known history” but the real known history. There were some other nifty tidbits in there as well it turned out, gleaned from clairvoyance. If anything trumps scientific fact, it’s clairvoyance.
With clairvoyance “Anthroposophists can scientifically investigate mysteries in both the spiritual and physical realms” – and this is scientifically proven, not an article of faith according to Steiner teachers. Steiner knew that islands “swim in the sea”, that the Earth (nor Venus and Mercury for that matter) does not orbit the sun, but “follows it” whilst Mars, Jupiter and Saturn precede it and clearly the heart does not pump blood like scientists say, but attracts it. Sleep is “exhaling the astral body… awakening is inhaling it”, the earth is a living being and much, much more. This can be discerned through “powerful clairvoyance”.
For Spiritual Anthroposophists (fellow cultists), evolution began on the fictitious continent of Lemuria which was situated where the Indian Ocean stubbornly seems to be today. Evolution was a highly spiritual process overseen by the likes of Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel and positively assisted by other spirit beings. The Christian Trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost “is a reality deeply bound up with the whole evolution of the cosmos”, Steiner wrote in 1922. On Lemuria and Atlantis, Lucifer and Ahriman respectively were the bad guys who held back evolution. Spiritual evolution.
For the mythologists out there you’ll recognise Ahriman as a principle evil doer in the Persian religion of Zoroastrianism. According to Steiner in An Outline Of Occult Science:
These two figures — Lucifer and Ahriman — must be clearly distinguished from each other. For Lucifer is a Being who detached himself from the spiritual hosts of heaven after the separation of the sun, whereas Ahriman had already broken away before the separation of the sun and is an embodiment of quite different powers.
The site Overlords of Chaos – that New World Order extravaganza – has much the same in the second paragraph on the Ahrimanic Deception, the Atlantean epoch and destruction of Atlantis and some “insight” into mans ability to manipulate the forces of air and water on Lemuria. What these deviations from Steiner’s teachings and work show us is that Steiner did not break entirely new ground.
Rather, Steiner mixed junk science with ancient mythology that actually went very well with the Aryan supremacy theories of the early 1900’s and the German Nationalist Socialist movement of the 1920’s. Although I rush to add there is no link to Nazism. Steiner’s views on Aryan supremacy were spiritual, not material and benign not malevolent. His schools were closed down by the Nazi party. At the time many Anthroposophists in Germany headed to Switzerland. Dornach, Switzerland was the location of 26 of Steiner’s 38 fabled Esoteric Lessons, allowing entrance into his First Class Cult. Hitler did persecute Theosophists, Freemasons, and Rosicrucians also, arguably as surety against threats to Nazi rule.
Steiner was accused by Hitler of being a tool of the Jews. Other sources claim he was murdered by the Thule Society. Nonetheless, there were secret lodges and occult societies aplenty in Germany in the early 1920’s. The secrecy of Steiner’s First Class Cult happenings is demonstrably impervious even today, though online texts exist (sorry about the eye zap). But persecution and quaint secrecy relate exclusively to the past. Today the realities of multiculturalism have had an eroding impact on attendee genealogy, if not Steiner philosophy.
Spiritual teachings include the belief that Lucifer caused a volcanic destruction of Lemuria ending the Lemurian epoch. The strongest survived and settled on fabled Atlantis. Here they developed a superior and intuitive grasp of the environment and speech. As hinted at above, their nemesis here was Ahriman who sought to lure them toward the material from the spiritual and intuitive. Still today criticism of a material understanding of the world or education remains and plays a major role as to why parents have little say in their childs’ education. Put bluntly, Steiner education is about stomping out critical thought before it takes hold.
As Roger Rawlings writes in My Experience As A Waldorf Student, about a discussion with his Steiner teacher:
Once he asked me whether he should fire the school’s Latin teacher, and he quickly added “Don’t think about it with your brain”—I should give an instinctive response, not a considered reply. (Which raises the question, what organ should be used for thinking, if not the brain?)
Whilst Steiner’s notions on the linguistic meaning of speech are insightful, valid and at times fascinating, the religious and mystical overtones of his teaching are inescapable. From his first Practical Advice For Teachers lecture:
We could ask why these things are as yet not included in science, even though they offer real practical help. The reason is that we are still working out what is necessary for the fifth post-Atlantean age, especially in terms of education. If you accept that speech in this sense indicates something inward in the vowels and something external in the consonants, you will find it very easy to create images for the consonants.
You will no longer need the pictures I will give you in the next few lectures; you will be able to make your own and establish an inner connection with the children. This is much better than merely adopting an outer image. In this way we recognize speech as a relationship between the human being and the cosmos. On our own as human beings, we would merely remain astonished, but our relationship with the cosmos invokes sounds from our astonishment.
Speaking of making sounds from astonishment. During Atlantean times man could command the creative forces of plant (vegetable), animal and mineral kingdoms, which is mirrored in Steiner Education of children – perhaps your children – today. It was Ahriman the second distinct incarnation of evil, who gradually misled some inhabitants of Atlantis to misuse the power of Earth and Water which led to the divine powers of Nature flooding Atlantis in a particularly nasty storm. So it was that the Atlantean epoch ended and the Persian, Egyptian, Indian, Hebrew, etc epochs followed, right up until the Germanic epoch.
Rudolf Steiner’s Anthroposophy is a religion in every way and should not be tolerated in a serious education system. Fixation with the numbers three and seven is plainly religious. Avoiding the wearing of dark colours is a Steiner religious expression relating to dark forces and the dark side of humanity. The “play” we hear of in place of “lessons” is nothing of the sort. It is designed to avoid structure, reasoning, choice, calculating cause and effect, or indeed any materially oriented activity.
Rather it’s a primitive “play” to reinforce the supposed intuitive correlates to the latent Atlantean self and thus “reawaken” the Atlantean powers as dictated by this religious cult. The most famous are the watery paint blobs kids churn out. Designed to expunge the thought, care and even correction needed to apply straight lines and geometric thinking that children develop with traditional drawing, painting helps to tap into the “forces” of body and soul.
As you may have noticed selling an evidence base for this hanky panky is a big ask. Showing a bit of flare even Scientologists must admire, Melbourne’s Rudolf Steiner School dodges Australian Government guidelines. Although controversial, all schools are to make publically available the performance of their students. This includes the percentage of students meeting reading, writing, spelling and numeracy skills for years 3, 5, 7 and 9. Amongst a cornucopia of feelgood cuddly wuddly spiritual warmth, the Rudolf Steiner School response (item 6) is:
As 98% of parents chose to remove their children from participation in these tests, it did not allow for a large enough sample to be indicative of the School’s Performance. Therefore results are not available.
So what’s the score? Given all the above, Victorians can be grateful for the Education Department action in removing what I confidently predict (without any Steiner clairvoyance) was a school council heavily weighted in favour of psuedoscience and religion dressed up as education. Simple cult observance.
Children are fairly robust and can sort silly parental views from the real world with remarkable skill. Still, that there is such a strong and vibrant abuse of our education guidelines, thus Victorian children, played out in Steiner annexes and at the main campus in Warranwood is concerning. Perhaps the Department should extend its reach.
Clearly Steiner education is designed to propagate religious beliefs. Parents are given no say in their childrens’ “education” under the Steiner banner. Steiner School curricula cannot possibly comply with Government regulations. The inherent racism in Steiner’s teachings are manifest. We need to accept that Waldorf schools hide the truth of their extreme religion from education authorities and prospective recruits alike. In respect of the previous point Steiner Education is to be regarded as a cult.
Yet more specifically is the High Court definition of a religion given in Victoria October 27, 1983 during the Scientology case. Church of New Faith vs Commissioner of Pay-Roll Tax:
We would therefore hold that, for the purposes of the law, the criteria of religion are twofold: first, belief in a supernatural Being, Thing or Principle; and second, the acceptance of canons of conduct in order to give effect to that belief… Those criteria may vary in their comparative importance, and there may be a different intensity of belief or of acceptance of canons of conduct among religions or among the adherents to a religion. The tenets of a religion may give primacy to one particular belief or to one particular canon of conduct. [….]
According to this legal definition Steiner Education, which follows on from and is presented strictly as relevant to a system of belief as outlined above, is clearly a religion.
Steiner education is anti-science and certainly anti-critical thought. Anthroposophy itself offers a non evidence based, completely ineffective alternative to medicine. The inherent dangers of these practices and the thinking it nurtures are well documented. To allow expansion of such illusory beliefs and high risk conduct under the watch of any Education Department, state or federal, is patently irresponsible.
More so, the volume of work produced by Rudolph Steiner goes far beyond belief and ritual to a universal and “cosmic” world view that at it’s heart is demonstrably void of any grounding in reality whatsoever. It is fantasy. Our education system should teach fantasy as fantasy, not permit our corridors of learning to be used for the telling of fables palmed off as fact. The growth of this new age cult belief in adults is at variance to, and an unwelcome intrusion upon, the natural development and educational needs of children.
Any parent who spends some time understanding the purpose of Steiner Education would no doubt, to borrow Jewell Topsfield’s phrase, be left reeling.
23 thoughts on “Footscray City Primary well rid of Steiner “education””
…and then there’s the gnomes!
But only if you don’t make spiritual progression over this lifetime.
I love it! Someone asked me about it recently an I said it’s like a jumble of Xtianity on drugs and Lord Of The Rings. I was so close…
It was shut down because of a violent attack on the school’s principal. Some Steiner parents and sympathisers took exception to the Fire Department’s order to extinguish the bonfire which was lit as a part of the celebration of the winter solstice, so they threw lit candles (!!!) at the principal in retaliation. The principal has been on extended stress leave ever since.
This is absolutely typical of the disgraceful behaviour of the Steiner cult at Footscray City Primary School. The Education Department had no choice other than to kill it dead, immediately and without consultation.
It’s time for the whingers to cease their mindless cackling and accept the fact that they got what they deserved; nothing more and nothing less.
“Some Steiner parents and sympathisers took exception to the Fire Department’s order to extinguish the bonfire which was lit as a part of the celebration of the winter solstice”
These are not the facts, more like Chinese whispers. The bonfire was never lit that night much to the disappointment of the children and parents present, mainstream and Steiner alike. Mainstream parents helped to build the bonfire that year and were enjoying the solstice celebration. I was leaving the school as the firemen arrived and they asked me why the bonfire had not been lit as they had been surprised not to see it burning when they arrived (they were always informed prior to the night that the fire would be lit and would come by to check all was well). I suggested they go and tell the principal she could give the go ahead and they proceeded to the office to talk with her. I believe she was too proud to back down on her earlier decision not to light the fire and in the end, that decision proved to be the final straw, for better or for worse depending on whose side you are on.
The school is now enjoying a level of support from the Department of Education not seen in decades. I suppose the department really wants to make things work this time.
from someone who actually went to the school and left when they shut down the program, i say that your comment is totally unjustified and taken from a ver biast point of view. there was no candle thrown, the fire department actually said to relight the bonfire, and steiner is not a “cult” just because it is based on a philosphers teaching, beliefs and writings. you should do your research about the topic before you start writing crap about stuff you dont have any knowledge in.
How about you make some constructive comments instead of using the situation as an excuse to attack Steiner? Clearly you have a bias against Steiner and have missed the gist of the issue.
What are the options for Education in Victorian Government Schools?
Footscray City Primary runs a modified Steiner program. Being a Government School it must comply with Department of Education Regulations. In that context the statement “… the Steiner stream, [which] emphasises learning by play rather than formal classes in the early years of school.” is correct.
I have one child who does well in the mainstream, so much so that he was accepted to the High Achievers Discovery Program at Footscray City College which caters to another stream of kids whose needs are not met by blindly adhering to an education curriculum designed for only 65% of the population.
People learn in different ways (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning_styles) and there are not that many alternatives available to parents with kids who don’t fit into one of the Education Department’s square holes.
My other child didn’t do well in mainstream learning as the system does not allow teachers to tailor the learning process to suit individual student needs. Until placing my other child in the Steiner stream at Footscray City Primary my only option to address the failure of our State School System to teach my child the three R’s was to home school her. The school she attended at the time felt it was more important to push her through to each new year level than to ensure that she met the minimum standards set for literacy.
Rather than attack the school give me an alternative that meets the needs of my child.
Try a normal state school!
No. It appears YOU have missed the gist.
The Steiner stream at FCPS had been leeching funds and resources like there’s no tomorrow for TEN BLOODY YEARS. The Steiner leadership, such as it was, always put themselves first, leaving the scraps for the mainstream kids. Misappropriation of funds; doctoring of the minutes of school council meetings; lying, cheating and stealing; they did whatever it took to keep their own little boat merrily afloat with absolutely no regard or consideration for those who weren’t in The Club.
The Minister stated that the decision was not about the validity of the Steiner education ‘method’ but alluded, as close as he could (although you all appear to be too bloody thick to get the message), to the nasty, spiteful, difficult, selfish, confrontational, unreasonable and altogether unprofessional and incompetent Steiner zealots who were the cause of such disharmony and fragmentation at the school. The attack on the principal on bonfire night was the last straw. That, madam, is the gist.
Get used to it: it’s over. Finished. And about bloody time.
Nobody is leeching funds, I believe parents who put their kids into Steiner had to pay. It was well worth it. Footscray benefitted from Steiner and I benefitted from Steiner. I struggled to learn in mainstream, the move to Steiner is the best decision I have made for my education. Learning became easy for me.
This article is largely misinformed and exaggerated to the point of hilarity. Atlantis? What the hell? We had a modified Steiner, it did not brain wash us into fanatics. It uses biblical stories, ancient mythologies and ancient societies to teach the necessities, allegories to help understand the concept just not drill in facts. I feel ashamed towards the people who attacked it so ignorantly, it’s not evil it’s just different.
Anyways my point is: some kids take well to Steiner and others don’t, I am glad to have the opportunity and it is sad that others in the future will not.
Sounds to me like someone possibly in the “Steiner leadership” (who do not speak for us all I might add) upset you so badly you’ve taken it personally.
If your allegations could have been proven then “a violent attack on the school’s principal” would have been a matter for the police to deal with, yet I do not believe any charges were laid?
Maybe if you were so passionate about working together to solve problems instead of vindictively attacking innocent people, which I suspect is due to your own prejudice, the Steiner program could produce benefits for all.
You say it’s been “ten years”, get over it and move on. Go have a cry if you need to, but surely you can see the bigger picture?
Lets see just how long the school remains open once the Steiner parents enroll their children elsewhere. Without the additional numbers from the Steiner stream, the School will struggle to still be viable. In fact I’m sure the Liberals would love to have an excuse to close the school and sell off the land, which I’m sure is quite valuable now, after all, they have a documented habit of doing this.
But you probably don’t care about the potential impact to all those innocent children as long as those whom you perceived wronged you in the past are “put in their place”.
Your assessment is incorrect.
The ‘Steiner leadership’ (you know who I mean, don’t you?) let you and all the ‘innocent children’ down with their arrogance and ignorance. Right now, they’re crying ‘unfair!’ but it’s solely because of their own bungling incompetence and sustained harassment of Government officials, principals, teachers, students and parents that the stream has been summarily shut down.
The bonfire incident did, in fact, occur. Ask the former school council members, if you dare, and you’ll be met with hostility and resistance on the matter. That should be proof enough. If not, you can ask the regional director. You’ll learn the shocking truth if you have the guts to ask.
The school will not shut down. The facts (of which you seem to be either completely unaware or simply choose to ignore) are that neighbouring schools are bursting at the seams with children of parents who were put off, to say the least, by the shenanigans of the last ten years at FCPS, as the statistics clearly show: e.g. West Footscray Primary: 900 students. FCPS: 280 (!) The State Government, alarmed by this situation, were forced to take the quick and decisive action they did last week. Consultation? It has never been possible to reason with the Steiner fanatics who controlled the school council. The Department had had enough of years of ‘consultation’ and was not going to waste any more time on them. This was a desperate situation which called for desperate measures. Pretty simple when you understand what actually went on.
Footscray City Primary School will thrive, now that the weirdo element has been turfed out. The community will have the confidence to enrol their children at FCPS in the knowledge that they will receive a proper education, unmarred by a nutball element who offer daily prayers to mysterious pixies, gnomes, angels and other outrageous, non-existent beings. Money formerly wasted on travel and accommodation for Steiner apostles from ‘overseas’ and expensive, seldom-used pizza ovens will now go to funding decent arts and sports programs for all students, not just the select few in the good graces of the disgraceful and now disgraced former school council.
If there’s anyone at whom your disappointment and anger should be directed, it’s the former school council; not the Minister, nor the DEECD nor anyone else. Just give it a few more weeks. The stench will be unbearable.
Get YOUR facts straight. West Footscray has 550 students (a fact easily accessed through the MySchool site) zoning has been applied to many inner West schools on account of a rapid demographic shift over the last decade that has bought many young families into the region. Under the Kennett government, many schools in the region were shut down due to diminishing numbers. It seems a bit of a stretch to attribute the rising numbers at schools in the region to the Steiner stream.
You do yourself an enormous disfavour by frothing at the mouth about Steiner education-many children who would not thrive in mainstream education have found a place in this alternative educational setting. I am not sure why you are so filled with ire that you’re
audibly frothing at the mouth but I suggest you live and let live and direct your ‘research’ and ‘debating’ skills toward something that upsets you a little less.
Hear hear ‘Just The Facts’ absolutely spot on. The department acted in exactly the right way and in terms of the welfare of children have made exactly the right decision. They were also right to do this without consultation or fuss as these parents would have made the school even more dysfunctional if the department had strung the process out with reviews.
Ding dong the witch is dead. Death to the Steiner Movement and the cruelty it inflicts on the innocent children, The long history of the past ten years has been followed closely by me, who has NO interest in either party succeeding or failing. What i know is that Steiner Education is a CULT. The young and innocent children have NO say in their education. It is their parents who make the decisions about which steam they are enrolled in and hence, what they are taught. From my research, Steiner was relevant when kids were expected to spend their youth in the mines, digging for coal. Kids these days are not made to work before the legal age of 15/16. They have seen the sunlight. They have different experiences to the children of the early 20th century. He may have been a trail blazer for kids in that industrial era, BUT today he has NO relevance.
Mainstream education is also a ‘cult’ – indoctrinating children into the cult of capitalism. Depends which ‘cult’ you want to sign up for really. Live and let live. Your rage against Steiner Education is personal and palpable.
I recently heard a comment ” only the very ignorant are unaware of their ignorance” This appears to be applicable to a number of souls trapped in the world of intellectual materialism, with little, or no experience the inner forces behind such reality. This is not meant be be a “personal attack” on your character, for although I have had a number of personal spiritual experiences ,over some twenty of so years, all a direct result of surrending my separative ego , I am still trully ignorant in so many ways. Steiner talked of this scurge of scepticism pervading the modern world, as being the greatest hindrance to our spiiritual evolution. Letting this go and discovering its spiiritual counterpart in “Faith” is to make the first step, if in fact it is your destiny in this life time, or the next, or the next. If you don’t understand something it doesn’t make it wrong, that is really arrogance. I know nothing of what goes on in that particular school, but I do know , again using my spiritual experiences as a foundation, that “normal” public education is nothing other than lobsided souless materialism that does little if nothing to help a child understand his/her humanity. That is why it is SO relevant for our times. Becoming inwardly aware is an individual journey, that is only won by letting go of our self absorbed self interested opinions and prejudices and opening our hearts, and minds to something beyond our selves , the Divine. That’s the first step, and in words of Khrishnamurti, it also the last. I wish you and your children a wise and wonderful journey in to the future.
Warm Regards, Marcus
Very interesting said the plaintiff lawyer representing the principal who was attacked….Love to see the arrogant Steiner pricks defend themselves in front of a judge…good luck Steiners
As someone who witnessed at close range the antics of the Steiner community I am truly forever grateful to the Department of Education who had the good sense and courage to say ENOUGH!!! I would love to be able to say who I am but I fear backlash and persecution from the very people who say we are working in harmony!! HA harmony is when 2 parties work together for common good not try and stab the other in the back at every opportunity. My children who attend the school are affected by the constant demonstrations, unruly behavior of Steiner students who are led by their parents. I am truly amazed at the lack of respect these people give to the Principal and Assistant Principal on a daily basis. The Principal and Assistant Principal worked tirelessly to achieve a harmonious dual stream educational setting unfortunately the fact that these two ladies also expected the children to achieve and behave in accordance with what their peers at other schools were demonstrating did not sit well with general Steiner community. It is a shame that it did not work out BUT I ask this isn’t it also a DISGRACE that parents model aggressive, sarcastic, condescending, disrespectful, demeaning, passive aggressive (this happens a LOT!!!).
I am sick of Steiner parents using scare tactics to get Mainstream parents on board!! We survived without you for over 130 years and you tell me that we won’t be able to survive because you are about to exit and we won’t have the numbers!!! HA! HA! If you are so powerful why don’t you open up your own school and build it from SCRATCH without Government resources. The Government that you abhor!! The truth is because YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!!
The steiner education may have ORIGINALLY been based on some “different” ideologies. but as a 16 year old who attended FCPS in the steiner stream, I can honestly say it was one of the best experiences of my life. Steiner has structure, it has certain colors the rooms must be painted, certain color pencils you may use and a certain way of learning. And honestly as a student in steiner we were often skeptical of our teacher’s practices…we hated eurythmy and water color painting, and not being allowed u use black pencils at the time, but now as I’m in a foreign school in Korea and am being exposed to a completely different educational experience with overly-privileged kids I am unbelievably thankful for how grounded steiner raised me to be. My teacher was my crazy eccentric second mum, my 23 classmates were my brothers and sisters, and including the class guinea pigs, fish and mexican walking fish…we were all a family. Yeah, we did weird things like bon fires with african drumming, may pole dances, lantern walks and unusual plays, but i would never change that…..HONESTLY many steiner teachers and parents are alternative and some more narrow minded, parochial, never-left-footscray people may find that intimidating or “bad because it’s different”. This infuriates me…i have read about steiner on websites called “religious atrocities”… it is not!!! BUT people’s constant and ridiculous criticism is what has caused protests. My old drumming teacher (who taught at FCPS) was someone who I respected until I saw him on 60 minutes talking about an encounter with his son and his son’s teacher (who was a strange women I’ll admit)…He was so critical of steiner and those affiliated with steiner that i lost all respect for him… I am so defensive about it because I know how it can affect a person! I wouldn’t be half the person I am today without it…
what hurts the most is the fact that parent’s distaste for steiner was passed onto their children. After moving out of the country in 6th grade and moving back the following year and repeating 6th grade I went to another local non-steiner school. I saw a few kids who had transferred from FCPS…I really realized how the hatred of the steiner stream was engrained in some families views of those affiliated with it. On my 2nd day of my new school, i had a hotdog thrown at me as a boy screamed “get out you steiner!”…I’m sorry but, what?!?!
I am so defensive and I do understand that some FCPS parents didn’t handle this well but what was wrong with my steiner. The steiner that my mum helped get started. the steiner that provided me with a home and mother away from home. The steiner that taught me all about the world we live in without me even being aware the information was anything more than a story. Steiner made me who I am….Steiner is not some crazy religious cult… It is accepting, loving, eccentric and wonderful.
Shame on those who began this back in 2007
I maintain that only a person who is miserable in themselves would go to this much effort to shut down a program that benefited children to such an extent. My former-principal Mr. Krep is still someone I remember well and have thought about over the years. He allowed steiner in his school, and he changed my life in possibly the most influential manner of any other life experience.
Steiner is not a cult.
Many of those who maintain that opinion are parents who put their kid into steiner without fully understanding it. Steiner does have many rules….but we never necessarily followed them “can’t watch tv and play computer” ….yeah no!
I could go on and on about the things we did, the things we put up with and most importantly the things we are not. WE ARE NOT A CULT!
Generalizing Steiner is like saying all Muslims are extremist terrorists. Every school, community and religion has extremists to some extent. And think of it this way…. no one would be angry if they hadn’t been given anything to be mad about. Mind your own business and respect people’s choice of education for their children.
Steiner changed me and provided me with a second family…. many of whom I am still in touch with almost 7 years later….Can somebody please explain why people care so much as to go to the effort to shut it down…?
To all you learned Freemasons,psychiatrists and couch potato pedophiles who put your biased comments up on this site.You have been brainwashed by the existing ,military style education system and which you claim is more respectful of individuals than the Waldorf system.And you come across as to be concerned.
You are simply mouthing the words put into you by texts you never really understood or could ever apply (don’t worry nobody benefits from the current text books) .Stop being hypocritical.
You pretend that you know it all and that the education system sponsored by state and the private sector alike (the same system give or take the price or the frills) is on the right track.
You should not have had children if you want simply to create more ‘acceptable’ automatons.
Hope you all **** off the planet soon
Actually there is no such thing as ‘mainstream’ education at Footscray City Primary or any other Victorian government school. This does not mean there are not effective (i.e. learner responsive) and ineffective (i.e. learner unresponsive) schools, however curriculum design is not the cause of any differentiation. Broader social factors and the quality of teaching usually explain such diversity.
While their is a curriculum framework in Victoria – it is deliberately designed to afford schools (public and publicly subsidised alike) tremendous flexibility in the design and delivery of the detailed instructional and assessment programs. The evidence for this may or may not be evident to people who only observe a very narrow range of schools in their lives, but take it from me, subject to the same curriculum framework and research based pedagogical advice (E5, an inquiry based pedagogy), the diversity of approaches to the curriculum and teaching/learning in Victorian government schools is a revelation to anyone who can put down their ideology for one moment and simply look.
The outcomes data at Footscray City were atrocious. Streamed early education of any sort, but particularly those that use an ‘entry fee’ are demonstrated by research to be against the interests of children (this is the policy position of many governments and UNESCO for a reason).
The ‘hocus pocus’ of Steiner aside, it was ultimately this poor performance and the destructive self-governance culture at the school that was the reasons for the termination of the Council and the program by regulators.
Who is this skeptical dick? Clearly has no idea how rich and beautiful a Steiner education is. No other school respects childhood and humanity like Steiner. It truly is the greatest gift for a child.